Howard Lester, chairman and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, will retire after 31 years at the helm of the upscale kitchenware retailer. Lester, 74, bought the four-store San Francisco-based company from founder Chuck Williams in 1978. The chain boasts more than 600 locations and owns the Pottery Barn and West Elm brands. The Williams-Sonoma board plans to name President Laura Alber as its new CEO.
Coupon use would increase during an economic downturn, with 67% of consumers more likely to use coupons. A survey shows that 58% of shoppers would increase their use of coupons if they could download them from the Internet.